Updated Aug 28, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Trump repeats false disaster relief claim as Puerto Rico faces storm Dorian

In this image, a man outstretches a hand towards a weather map that shows a tropical storm in different colors

The Emergency Operation Centre (COE) monitors Tropical Storm Dorian in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on August 27, 2019. Photo: Erika Santelices/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump falsely claimed again on Tuesday that Congress has sent $92 billion in disaster relief aid to Puerto Rico, instead of the $42.7 billion that it has actually sent.

Why it matters: Puerto Rico has declared a state of emergency as Tropical Storm Dorian heads toward the U.S. territory. The island is still reeling from Hurricane Maria, which struck in 2017 — the year it effectively became bankrupt amid "the biggest government financial collapse" in American history.

Reality check: The Trump administration plans to increase restrictions on the island's federal aid after the political fallout of former Gov. Ricardo Rosselló's replacement being ousted. That aid was meant to help rebuild Puerto Rico recover from Maria.

  • The Washington Post reports that about $14 billion of funds allocated by Congress has reached Puerto Rico so far.

What they're saying: San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, a well-known Trump critic responded to Trump's tweet on CNN, saying: "It's close to between $12.6 and $14 billion that have come to Puerto Rico and still, things have not worked appropriately."

The big picture: Trump approved an emergency disaster declaration for Puerto Rico Tuesday night, as Dorian neared the island.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with Cruz's comments and Trump's emergency declaration announcement.

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